News Article

Exclusive: Zelda's Aonuma: We're Looking Into Going "Beyond The Disc" With DLC

Posted by Damien McFerran

"We're certainly looking at different ways to add on content"

Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma has exclusively revealed to Nintendo Life that he and his team are looking into ways of incorporating DLC into future titles in the franchise.

Speaking in an interview which will run on the site later today, Aonuma — who is currently hard at work on The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds — was asked about the possibility of DLC becoming part of the Zelda series. He replied:

We're certainly looking at different ways to add on content that would enhance the experience for the user - maybe more places to explore or just to enrich the experience beyond what is on the disc. But we also have to take into consideration that if we charge for this content then it needs to be worth it for the user.

So it's certainly a balancing an act, but I can't say that it is something we're not considering.

DLC is now an integral part of big-budget blockbusters, allowing developers to add more content and gain additional revenue while maintaining player interest in their titles. Could we see the prospect of new dungeons, items or even worlds being added to future Zelda games? Or do you think that Nintendo will adopt a different approach to everyone else, and use DLC in a more innovative and inventive fashion?

Let us know by posting a comment, and be sure to keep your eyes on the site for the full interview with Aonuma later today.

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User Comments (83)



WiiLovePeace said:

I don't mind this idea. Being able to extend the life of a Zelda game even further would be really awesome. Not like they've ever been short though (at least for me), but its still an amazing idea, new dungeons made after release of the game & beyond what's in the main story is very tantalising.



19Robb92 said:

If they make it as outstanding as the New Super Luigi U DLC I'm all for it. I'd happily pay for that amount of new content.



Pod said:

As long as it's free.

I don't make a habit of paying for games that in any way incorporates paid DLC.



antdickens said:

I like the idea of breaking up Zelda into DLC episodes, so we can have it more frequently (every year?) rather than these long development cycles.



jacksayspurple said:

Nintendo has definitely got the right idea for DLC. I don't have a problem with paying a little bit extra if I get my money's worth in content. Skyrim's DLC has been absolutely fantastic and well worth the price I paid for it. If Nintendo offer DLC like that then I'll be pleased!



MeWario said:

Man I'd love some DLC as long as it comes a while after the game is released and doesn't cost too much.



marck13 said:

I like that. They make an awesome game and they ad awesome content beyond an already big game, that is fine with me and encourages 'em even more to make an outstanding titel.
I see DLC as a reward, that is only being payed for when the software is worth it.
I trust in Nintendo and also the words Eiji chose to address the option of DLC for ZELDA U.



JGMR said:

This is really ruining games nowadays; DLC. I don't even have a internet-connection for it. Also, games should be perfect as they are: at the time of release not afterward.



DreamOn said:

Crap..they're gonna charge for extra bottles i just know it and I'm gonna give in I'm such a sucker. You got me, Aonuma.



RaymanFan2 said:

Well, Nintendo tend to go all out when they do DLC. Just look at NSLU's 80+ levels. At least we don't need to worry about single levels and microtransactions.



Mk_II said:

@Damo because it would ruin the experience for me. I'm fine with DLC for games like F-Zero or Mario Kart or things like the Luigi expansion for NSMBU but in my view everybody should experience the whole story when it comes to Zelda. And another point: what happens to that DLC content in say ten or twenty years? Will it still be available for download or have disappeared forever?



McGruber said:

No please. Why not do DLC for Smash Bros instead? That would actually make sense...



Mk_II said:

They should add NFC figures to Super Smash Bros so you can pick & mix part of your roster.



ScorpionMG said:

" if we charge for this content then it needs to be worth it for the user "
This Is Why I Love This company.



GraveLordXD said:

@Mk_II I agree! I want my zelda on one disc full game. And no please not a episode type thing like they are doing with eternal darkness, I feel there is no better time than now to say OMG WTF!?!?



andreoni79 said:

Please Nintendo, don't start wasting time and energy thinking at DLC. Just create a good, complete game. Why should devs lose their time in a game after its release?



Kifa said:

@Lionsgate What "sense" are you talking about? New overpowered and imbalanced characters that make it easier for all Visa Warriors to beat opponents online?

With Zelda this would actually make sense - DLC can add whole new quests, and some games in the past already demonstrated that such addons can, in fact, be very good and worth their price.

All in all - it's all about execution, not the idea, and we'll have to wait to see what comes of it.



DESS-M-8 said:

If the DLC is major then yes, not micro transaction crap.

Like the extra version of ocarina of time that was released for the N64DD and eventually as a bonus on te ocarina disc with wind waker, that was a harder version and mirrored dungeons etc, or even extra dungeons. Something that was a new take on the same game but done as DLC yes.
This is what EA should do with sports titles. Release a retail version one year, then the new rosters, kits, control revisions are as DLC annually. Only
Releasing a full new retail maybe 3-4 years later when they have developed an entirely new engine that warrants a new full version. Probably 5 years actually.



Fazermint said:

As long as the game itself is complete on release. I'm no fan of the DLC model, but I might consider it for a game like Zelda.



DualWielding said:

I dunno..... I mean yes Super Luigi U sounds like is a good value, but the DLCs for New Super Mario Bros 2 and Fire Emblem Awakening, are not that better in the bang for your buck department that DLCs from other companies



Goginho said:

hmm long as they're able to justify the DLC. It wouldn't make much sense to just add some extra areas or bonus dungeons for such a big Zelda game. It shouldn't be "just for the heck of it", it should rather somehow be able to cleverly incorporate the main story in it, possibly expand on it a little. At the moment I can't really think of any good ways of doing so, but I'm sure the crew at Nintendo would know what to do. They always do. The only safe thing I could suggest is something like mini-games.



AJWolfTill said:

I would love some DLC if it was released months after the release and delved into events which happened after the end of the main game (aka Fable the Lost Chapters).
Alternatively something which revolved around side characters. I have every faith that Nintendo won't try to charge for anything trivial.



Monkeyofthefunk said:

DLC is a great addition to any game and I would love to have the option to add missions etc to any Nintendo game as long as it doesn't mean another game is delayed or cancelled because of the DLC development.
@Happy_Mask it could be that Zelda is the free to play MMORPG with micro transactions but I don't think Nintendo would go down that route.



skywake said:

You know I'm thinking more along the lines of Majora's Mask here. Same engine, same assets, different game entirely. Same thing with Spirit Tracks after Phantom Hourglass. They could do that with DLC and it's basically what they're doing with New Super Luigi U. If it's that extensive I'm sure nobody would have a problem with it....

and if they did they need their head checked.



Varia01 said:

Ooooohhh.... neat! DLC is a great idea for this game, much has not yet been announced for it, but if this game is gonna be another BIG Zelda game with DLC added, that will be amazing! HYPE!!!



NES_64 said:

I do not mind DLC as long as it is content that will keep me playing long after finishing the game. However I do prefer my games to be complete on release, and so wait for a Complete Edition.



Kage_88 said:

Eeehhh... I'm not so sure.

I think DLC is great for games like Mario, where plot comes second to gameplay, and where the games can be played in bursts. They are 'gamer' games, if that makes any sense. Like toys that you can have fun with.

However, I see Zelda as more of a 'purer' experience; a refined piece of software that should not be compromised in any way. I liken it to a 'walled garden'; where the finished product should not be tampered with or altered. Like a classic book, every Zelda story should stay the same for everybody, and not be tarnished by a desire to make a quick buck through some arbitrary add-on.

EDIT: Honestly, I'm sick and tired of the DLC obsession that is plaguing the games industry at the moment. It seems like Nintendo are the only ones who know how to do it properly.



Araknie said:

@Damo Because i won't buy it, i don't never buy DLC and i hate it and i liked that Nintendo didn't do it.
I never add money on my consoles so i won't buy DLCs.



alLabouTandroiD said:

I'd only consider using DLC after i've beaten the game. And then it'd better be something that's got it's own little maybe side- or sub-story.
If they can use it to give additional depth to the story or characters that would be something the series can profit from. If it'd just be new dungeons (or lesser things like weapons and clothes) without any kind of context that would just not cut it for me.



Expa0 said:

Really, they should consider the dlc only AFTER they've finished the game.



DarkCoolEdge said:

No please. I don't see Zelda with DLC. Mario, yes because of the separate levels but Zelda doesn't fit. Plus, Nintendo's DLC aren't exactly cheap for what they offer (I'm looking at you NSMB2 an FE: Awakening).



GiftedGimp said:

If having DLC doesn't mean Zelda will be edited down to accomodate the dlc strategy as Every game almost is on other platforms, then fine. It would be great to have the usual Zelda experience then a year down the line get another story line intergrated into the original release, with new dungeons, bosses and puzzles and items.
Sort of like Nintendo are doing with NSMBU with the Luigi dlc.
Maybe it they could do a yearly package for a few years, saves on the costs of producing a whole new game yet offering Zelda fans a new Zelda story line to experience every year.



ICHIkatakuri said:

@Mk_II Nintendo don't believe in DLC which is held back to be charged for, or shipping a game which is incomplete. They do believe in luring people back to games with new content or adding extra value, like with the Mario challenge maps or the Luigi add on. I think they would handle DLC in Zelda very well, perhaps adding in quests for some NPC characters to flesh out their story and motives within that universe.



Reala said:

I'm always up for more zelda as its my fav game series period, so of course I'm in favour of dlc, to say otherwise is just plain crazy as far as I'm concerned.



Haxonberik said:

As long as they're not throwing month 1 DLC or "power up" DLC, I'm fine with it. Also, dont do a Capcom and give us the entore story from the start.



Beppeoioi said:

YES to the DLC only if they extend the long and complete main story.
The DLC could help us withstand long periods of development between a Zelda game and another.
Yes to the DLC !!!
I would also favor the release of a game and the subsequent release of a second game which incorporates and extends the previous history ...



Undead_terror said:

@Pod Yah. let's make a new land for dlc or a new story and make it free....although it may seem nice it will take nice bit of time to do and if they are not going to make a profit from it then that would be bad for Nintendo, if it was a new enemy or item sure it could be free since it wouldn't take too long to make (besides thinking what it could be) but to make something that took more time, I don't think so.



Major_Majora said:

If the dlc was free everyday like what monster hunter does it would be fine. Everyday a free dungeon that you can play through. Yep i like that idea.



Weskerb said:

@LzQuacker Too good to be true uh? What about Zelda Twillight Princess U, can I have that please? Toon Link doesn't exactly float my boat, or put wind in my sails.



MetalKingShield said:

I'm not a fan of DLC. If it's good, it should have been on the disc. If it's bad, then it simply unbalances the game. Either way, it's not a good thing, in my opinion.



That_Guy_from_Faxana said:

Added content is ok with me if it´s not something that feels "left out" of the original release. Many times DLC feels like a way to charge extra for the complete game. However, if Nintendo had a smaller team to create a few bonus dungeons for a Zelda it´s just good!



Stark_Nebula said:

Hey everybody!? Guess what!? If they released Ura Zelda for the DD back in the day, EVERYBODY would buy it (and the DD too!). You know why? Because we like the idea of expansion packs. They did it with the F-Zero eXpansion Kit and people bought it for the price of the game itself. There's this stigma that goes with DLC, but if they made a games-worth of content like Super Luigi Bros. U, then paying 30$ (lump or total) should not be an issue.
Everyone thinks DLC is to screw people over, and it's not. It's a service to the fan, giving them what they ask for: more. Yes there's a price tag, but guess what? Work isn't free. And the companies that take advantage of DLC to screw you over are greedy. Nintendo isn't the same, they do have dignity and pride.
Just remember: they did it before and everyone loved them for it. It's the name "DLC" that's peeving you off. Just think of it as an Expansion Pak. Happy now?



Dezsi said:

I'm absolutely against DLC, and I don't think it's because I'm older or anything, old-fashioned, game-wise, if you will. Finish making a game, make it as complete as possible, and then move onto making another game of the franchise or a completely different game. Once a game is initially released, it should be forgotten development-wise. This HAS been the case for a long time, right?

Of course, I understand that, because of the Internet, great and new ways of milking customers have arisen. Yes, this way enities who will profit from goods can profit even more. That I get. But, to me, it is ridiculous to see customers be all for, support, CELEBRATE downloadable content. That is nothing else but cheering for being ripped off, being milked again and again for something you had already paid a hefty price for.

The only reason I could understand even considering DLC to add new levels or whatever that they initially wanted, but couldn't, is due to "time limitations", as in "the game has to be finished by the end of Q4, otherwise we can't release the game before the holidays, and so we won't make as much money as we wanted to". But even then, it's just a bad thing, bad planning in the first place.
And if they do it, game companies should NOT make it look like as if it's "extra content", rather, they should just make the additional (originally original) content available for free — for those only, that is, who have their consoles connected to the Internet. (On the other hand, if they added additional levels to, say, Super Mario Bros., there would be no question in those levels being actual extra content. I would pay for that in a heartbeat.)

We all know that Zelda games have been delayed many times before they finally released it. I don't think that the majority of people complain about the quality of the Zelda games. Why? Because they took their time, and that's the reason Zelda games are so great. And any game, for that matter, will only be good if a great development team spends a whole lot of time with it.

So is it going to be the case now, with Nintendo, too, that they will rush an otherwise incredibly promising game, yet still not worry too much, because they can now put in extra stuff later and make even more money off it? Bad, bad, bad. All of this is plain wrong. Why? Because you pay a LOT of money for a game, and now additional levels have a price now? How much does a "new level" cost? 1.99? 3.25? Come on! Where I live, Nintendo games have always been VERY pricey (we paid an equivalent of 65 GBP/75 EUR/100 USD for Banjo-Tooie when it came out), yet we'd buy Nintendo games because they were fantastic quality games. Loyalty to quality is what made me buy Nintendo games instead of household appliances. I'm still willing to pay a lot for great games, but paying MORE, in addition to a very expensive game (provided that I can still afford it) is just an overkill.

In all, DLC is nothing more than either laziness PLUS greediness, or bad planning. If it's the former, I have nothing to add; if it's the latter, then they should not make a consumer pay more for "delayed content, initial content added later".



JGMR said:

@Dezsi That's it. It's all done under the guise of "expansion". Why? Wasn't it complete the first time 'round? It's inexcusable in my opinion. That's why people should wait for the final editions of games (like Dead Or Alive 5 Ultimate), instead of buying additional content all the time.



bassoongoon said:

I am generally against DLC, although I would not mind so much if this game is comparable in length to other Zelda games and they want to add EVEN MORE.



Einherjar said:

Well done DLC can be pure bliss. You play through the game a first time, maybe a second and let it rest for a few months. In that time, developers can listen to fans what aspect they liked most about the game (like it was the case with the art academy app especially made for the MiiVerse simply because developers saw that people loved to draw in it) and come up with ideas to expand on that feature. Or, lets say, expand the game world with older set pieces, visiting familliar teretories to uncover new secrets with the new gadgets.
The possibilities are endless if its done right and fair. And i doubt that nintendo goes the "capcom" route and sells ridiculous stuff for even more rediculous prices, or even cut the game into pieces and sells them seperatly at inflated prices.
@JGMR Why cant a "finished" game be further expanded ? Why does it automaticly mean it wasnt finished in the first place ? If a dev thinks of a neat idea after the game was released, why not implement that through DLC instead of wayting till the release of a new game, when the idea suddenly doesnt fit the theming anymore ?
I absolutely understand the negativity towards DLC in general, since its one of the most abused features of this generation of video games. Its no wonder that DLC became a synonyme for "rip off", but lets just wait how nintendo does it. Maybe they will do it right since they have never done it before and are well known for doing stuff almost always completely different than eny other company.



nocode said:

People are too quick to hate DLC, It can be done properly. As long as it's not a vital piece to the core game/story that they've purposely left out...I'm fine with it.



Yorumi said:

I think people have too much of a knee-jerk reaction to dlc cause of other companies that have screwed it up. No one minds a sequel but doing something similar only calling it dlc suddenly incites fits of rage. Obviously dlc needs to be treated as an expansion, and the main game shouldn't suffer without it in order to further entice you to buy it.

When done right dlc adds new life to old games. Any time you replay a zelda game it's the same game every time. Now think about it, a few months or a year later you get the itch to play a zelda game again. I could play the same old story again where I know the solution to all the puzzles, sure it's fun from time to time. Or I could pay $10-20 for a whole new expansion with new dungeons, new puzzles, and a new story. That to me is a great idea.

Sure there's no question it can be screwed up, and not one person wants that, but done right dlc is a very good thing.



BlatantlyHeroic said:

Hey, guys, the game would still be complete, they would just be adding things for you to do AFTER you have completed the main game, which will probably take you a couple of days/weeks. Think about Skyrim, it in itself is a complete game, Dawguard and Dragonborn allow you to explore even more. That's what DLC should do.



Whopper744 said:

I just don't want it to be like the popular FPS shooters on other ssytems where they give you like, 2 multiplayer maps for the $60 bucks you pay then make you but another $30 to get the rest that should have been included.



Trikeboy said:

As long as it is stuff that isn't available less than 6 months after release, I'm fine. If they put an extra town in west Hyrule in TP or extra islands in Skyward Sword, I would have loved that. DLC for the sake of DLC is getting out of hand. PS3 and 360 had to have DLC to play as Catwoman in Arkham City but she is part of the plot. She should have been on the disc.



hamae said:

No for additional dungeon. Yes if they make Zelda or Tingle a playable character.



element187 said:

@Mk_II there is some bad DLC and good DLC.. So far it looks like Nintendo is doing DLC right.

Most companies purposely leave off large chunks of a game just so they can sell you the rest of the incomplete game... or they even put it on the disc and require you to pay to unlock it..... So far Nintendo is delivering with its DLC.. Take Fire Emblem. The game by itself has massive content, and a very long story. Now on top of all that content, they are releasing various maps for us. its a 50 hour game, and with DLC, it extends the play much further.

NSMBU is getting 80 levels of DLC. the standalone game had 82 levels. Its practically an entirely new game, content wise anyway.



tasmans11 said:

@Damo I think people don't want to see DLC for zelda series because each generation Nintendo has delivered great Zelda games with vast amounts of content already without DLC. If DLC were to happen this would make me (and probably a lot of other people) think why didn't they just make the new Zelda game massive like they did with the others? Then start to think it's because they want more money for the "Zelda" experience or because they are having issues with the new plateform. When I grew up I know I loved getting lost and finding my way around dungeons and large maps, and once I had beaten the game I could brag to my friends and feel accomplished. Now if they plan DLC, If I beat the new zelda I won't feel as accomplished, I still know that theres more to come even though I just spent $60 for the game....It will start to be like a payment plan if I want the full "Zelda" experience



ACK said:

Sure, most of us dislike DLC in many cases.

But put this into context and ask yourself: would you want DLC in Wind Waker to allow you to explore SPOILER Hyrule SPOILER beyond what's included in the original?



ZeroxGT said:

DLC= play through ALTTP with those graphic since it takes place there. Would be a nice add-on dont you think? At least for those who never played it could experience the first part of the story there. Keep in mind i was referring to the game coming out soon for the 3DS



The-Chosen-one said:

yes nintendo you have my blessing, would be awesome, when u finish the game, there will come new mission maybe mini- side story/quests, new dungeons, to keep us busy till the next zelda lol



Epicnessofme99 said:

If they fit everything they need to make the game complete on the disk, and decide to just release an add-on such as, say, a new villain along with several dungeons, where it has it's own unique storyline taking place either after the game or what have you, I believe it would work pretty well. I'm confident Nintendo wouldn't go the route of certain companies and have extra content on the disk and instead decide to cash it in as DLC, they'd do it the way DLC was meant to be made.



Mk_II said:

@element187 i know Nintendo does better DLC than most but i think a Zelda game would feel incomplete if i didn't get the DLC. Im fine with DLC but not for Zelda. Something like an optional Master Quest style remix would be fine, but not extra dungeons or items for the main game.



TwilightV said:

1. Nintendo is not Capcom. They've proven several times that their DLC Adds to the experience, and for a reasonable price too.

2. DLC IS OPTIONAL. Nobody's forcing you to buy it.



Yanchamaru said:

No to microtransactions. Yes to DLC containing lots of content. The main game should be complete with DLC only used as a optional bonus.



unrandomsam said:

The New Super Bros 2 DLC on 3DS isn't reasonable. (I haven't yet even bought it because of that).

I was very disappointed with Super Mario Bros wii if it was not for riivolution. (And Canon Super Mario Bros / Another Super Mario Bros wii) I would have felt very ripped off. (Never played the multiplayer another £100 to play that 4 player). If you look at how many copies of it they sold they should have been able to make it at least as good as bros 3 / world and 4 times as long. Less costs also compared to making cartridges.

If the DLC works like Super Luigi U or Majorca's Mask (Or Oracle of Ages / Seasons). Or even adding something like Links Crossbow Training it might be ok the only thing I would be totally ok is whatever is released as DLC is also released retail. (Makes sure its a complete game).

What happens to other publishers is not the same as what happens to Nintendo though. (1st party Nintendo games hold their value for at least 2 years or more. Stuff like Cex / Grainger Games sell preowned at the Amazon new price.)

Other systems have GOTY editions Nintendo doesn't do anything like that as of now.

Think Nintendo should bring back selects (Or players choice or whatever they want to call it).



DarkNinja9 said:

to me it sounds like there going at this from the gamer point of view they wont just have DLC for a new item seems like they want to add more to the map or story which is good only thing i hate is having to pay like $7 at times when i have to waste my money on a $20 eshop card cuz thats the lowest they go -_-



Nintendo2013 said:

More Game Items, Areas, Add Ons, Bosses, Powers, Things to do.... Who wouldn't want that....?

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